The Training Room: Week 17 Injury Updates

The Training Room: Week 17 Injury Updates

By Russell Manalastas (Injury Expert), last update Dec 23, 2014

Russ Manalastas's picture

Russ is a Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist and Clinical Director at Lattimore Physical Therapy in Rochester, NY. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University at Buffalo as well as his Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science. His board certification credentials in sports is what is required for PT's that work at the NFL level. Russ provides a unique perspective on NFL injuries as they relate to fantasy football.

Follow Russell Manalastas on Twitter: @RussPT.

This week’s column is bittersweet, as this is when everyone gets all nostalgic about another fantasy football season coming to a close. Congratulations to all the owners who took home a title this past weekend, celebrate and brag as much as you can until next season, it’s a glorious feeling! For those who advanced and are playing in a title game this upcoming weekend, you still have work to do. Let’s get into some injuries you’ll want to keep an eye out for this weekend. The issue with Week 17 is with teams clinching playoff spots and other teams not playing for much, it could be pretty volatile as to who’s available and trustworthy to play.


On The Mend

T.Y. Hilton (Strained Hamstring):  The Colts would be wise to rest Hilton for the playoffs, especially since they are going to be playing on wildcard weekend. He’s still day-to-day for now, but the fact that he has returned to practice should put him on track to play. It’s tough to imagine him playing more than just a handful of snaps this weekend, which makes him a risky proposition, even if Coach Pagano said his starters will play.

Aaron Rodgers (Strained Calf): Rodgers apparently strained his calf early in the game against the Bucs this past weekend, but seemed to not have aggravated it more as the game progressed. He’ll most likely sit the majority of the week to get the calf to heal up as he is not missing this upcoming game with the division title on the line.

Michael Crabtree (Sprained Knee): Crabtree struggled to stay on the field this past weekend against the Chargers due to the knee. The knee is giving him enough trouble where the 49ers might just want to rest him and not risk hurting his knee more considering they are out of playoff contention. He’ll most likely practice on a limited basis throughout the week, but if he plays, you could end up seeing the same type of limited snaps he played this past weekend.  

DeAngelo Williams (Fractured Finger): The Panthers have been saying Williams has been close to playing for the last two weeks now, but he has been inactive each time. Williams will practice this week, and if he looks good, he should be activated for this weekend. Of course this comes at the worst time for Jonathan Stewart owners, as it will put a damper on his chances to take it to the Falcon’s poor run D. One can only hope the Panthers continue to ride Stewart and leave D-Will and Tolbert as change-of-pace backs. I wouldn’t expect a ton from Williams this weekend.  

Justin Forsett (Sprained Ankle): This post is more precautionary than anything as Forsett has been dealing with an ankle issue for a couple of weeks now. However, the fact that Fitzgerald Touissant got snaps late in the game when the Ravens were trying to make their comeback makes me question Forsett's health. We’ll get an idea on his status during the practice week, but it’s something to keep an eye on. I don’t think he’s in danger of missing time, but his volume might be reduced as he’s clearly showing some signs of fatigue this late in the season.


Training Room Week 17

Steven Jackson

Strained Quadriceps: The quadriceps is the main muscle in the front of the thigh. It helps straighten the leg and stabilize the leg (in addition other muscles) when fully putting weight through the leg. Most quadriceps strains occur either in the middle of the muscle belly or towards the insertion point down by the knee.

Bottom Line: The Falcons are reporting Jackson should be ready to return for Atlanta's Week 17 division title showdown versus the Panthers. I’m not so sure I agree with that sentiment until I see him able to practice at some point later in the week. Jackson should be considered day-to-day for now, but he’s been known to be very slow to recover from soft tissue injures which could put his status in doubt.


Pierre Thomas

Sprained Foot: Direct trauma to the foot can irritate the many tendons, ligaments, and muscles that allow the foot to function properly. The foot is usually sprained when it is planted on the ground and either the player is trying to change direction or it is landed on by another player. Thomas was injured this past weekend against the Falcons, but there was no indication as to when the injury occurred.

Bottom Line: There haven’t been any updates on the extent of Thomas’ foot injury since it happened. He’ll be day-to-day for now, but with the Saints out of playoff contention, there’s a good possibility they sit him to see what Khiry Robinson can do in an expanded role.


Percy Harvin

Rib Injury: Direct Trauma to the ribcage area can cause pain, irritation, and bruising to the muscles and cartilage that help support the area. Harvin got hurt in the 3rd quarter and then was ruled out of the game shortly after exiting.

Bottom Line: Here's another injury to add to Harvin’s already extensive injury history. He’ll be day-to-day until we hear otherwise, and although he’s been vulnerable to lingering issues, he should be able to play unless the injury is severe enough to hold him out.


Johnny Manziel

Strained Hamstring: The hamstring muscle is the primary muscle in the back of the thigh responsible for bending the knee and extending the hip. When it relates to sports, it's a very important muscle in aiding to accelerate/decelerate the lower body to allow proper running and cutting. Manziel exited in the 2nd quarter and did not return.

Bottom Line: The questions on whether or not Manziel’s body will hold up to the rigors of the NFL will continue to grow louder after straining his hamstring in only his 2nd start. Apparently the strain is severe enough where the Browns aren’t going to take a chance with their 1st round pick, as they ruled him out for the finale against the Ravens. Manziel will be fine for next season, but his underwhelming performances in the short time he spent as the Browns QB will remain a big question heading into next season.


Brian Hoyer

Sprained Shoulder: Due to the amount of mobility in the shoulder, there are many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help support it. Direct trauma, or moving the shoulder into an extreme range of motion unexpectedly can cause irritation to those structures which can cause pain. Hoyer’s injury wasn’t reported until after the game.

Bottom Line: Hoyer filled in for a hurt Manziel and ended up getting hurt himself. The fact that the Browns haven’t really discussed the extent of Hoyer’s injury isn’t a good sign either, as usually by now we can project how long he’ll be out for. Reports from Adam Caplan on twitter also state that he is dealing with a bruised bicep, which will only further complicated his shoulder issue due to part of the bicep originating from the shoulder. Hoyer will continue to be day-to-day, but with the Browns potentially looking to start Connor Shaw, in addition to signing Tyler Thigpen, Hoyer might have played his last down as a Brown.


Jermaine Kearse

Strained Hamstring: See Above.

Bottom Line: Coach Carroll stated some pessimism when it came to Kearse’s availability for the regular season finale. Kearse has been too inconsistent to trust this year, especially on a run first team. He’ll be day-to-day for now, but his chances of playing this upcoming weekend are not looking good, which could potentially mean he’s dealing with a higher grade strain.


Dwayne Allen

Sprained Knee: There are many structures in the knee that can be injured either from repetitive overuse or from blunt trauma to the knee. There was no indication as to when Allen hurt his knee but is undergoing an MRI to determine extent of the injury.

Bottom Line: Allen hasn’t been able to stay healthy as he just returned from an ankle injury a few weeks back. We’ll know more once we know the results of his MRI, but for now he’ll be day-to-day. Colby Fleener should continue to see the majority of the targets if Allen sits out. 

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